"We never thought it was going to be the last pictures we took of her," fan Wendy Lazcano said.
Lazcano snapped camera phone pictures of Spanish-singing superstar a few months ago as she sang to a sold-out crowd in Houston. Lazcano says as a fan and one who helps spread her music, it's hard to accept that the woman known as the "Diva of Banda" is gone.
Mexican officials now confirm Rivera and a handful of staffers died when her private jet crashed in northern Mexico on Sunday.
"You never think that it's true, you get into kind of a shock you don't realize it until later. It was hard, it's really hard," Lazcano said.
But as tough as it is for Lazcano, it's even tougher for DJ Cheque Gonzalez, who as a DJ back in Los Angeles more than a decade ago was one of the first to play Rivera's music. There's even cell phone video that shows the international start thanking Gonzalez for his longtime friendship and his support, which helped lead to her success.
"I have never gone up on stage with her before. It's like I was giving my last goodbye," he said in Spanish.
Gonzalez says he been in touch with the family and they are distraught. He says it's really hard to talk to them because "you get a knot in your throat and get choked up."
Meanwhile, fans are still in shock.
"I still can't believe that she's gone," Lazcano said.
Gonzalez and others say they want to know what led to the crash that killed Rivera. That investigation is still ongoing.